Subscribe to a magazine

The Squadron - Three Custom Off Road Trucks

Straight Line
Kevin Blumer | Writer
Posted October 1, 2009
Photographers: Courtesy Of Peter Garcia

Squaring Off With Ocotillo Wells

A while back, we showed you how DMZ Fab & Race Prep builds a bumper. This time, we're bringing you not one, but a whole squadron of trucks built by DMZ.

First, Ryan McIntosh's 2005 Toyota Tacoma Doublecab 4x4 is equipped with a Total Chaos long-travel front suspension, complete with functional four-wheel drive. To this, DMZ added a custom bed cage, front and rear bumpers, long-travel spring-under rear suspension with Deaver springs, and completely boxed the frame.

Next, Jeff Valena's 2005 Tacoma Doublecab Prerunner sports a Total Chaos long-travel front suspension combined with custom-fabricated 2WD Allied steering knuckles. DMZ's Tim Duncan put the tie rods on steroids with custom clevises, chrome moly tubing, and Heim joints. Like Ryan's Tacoma, Jeff's also has a DMZ-boxed frame and Deaver-based spring-under rear suspension. Jeff wanted to be able to put his dirt bike in the bed, so Tim built Jeff's bed cage to accommodate moto-style cargo.

Both of these Tacoma's are highly streetable and serve as their respective owners' daily drivers. When it's time to hit the dirt, both trucks bare substantial off-road teeth.

Ernest Picos' 2000 Ford Ranger is a hardcore build that's ready for the starting line. For Ernest, it's a passport to fun: witness the "TKT BAJA" vanity plate. DMZ started with a Blitzkrieg Motorsports (BMS) long-travel front suspension system and took off from there. This Ranger has a bumper-to-bumper roll cage and a DMZ four-link rear suspension.

The DMZ squadron invaded the Ocotillo Wells OHV area on a crisp autumn day in late '08. Recent rains (yes, it does rain in the desert) made for a bit of mud, but also meant there wasn't any dust to speak of.

The squadron's trucks were put through their paces. Ernest's Ranger flew the furthest and landed the softest. No surprise there, since it's a full-race build. The unexpected came from the daily driver-style trucks. Whoops and jumps just aren't supposed to be conquered so easily by that which provides everyday transportation.

Joining the DMZ squadron is easy. Show up with a truck and a plan, and DMZ will take it from there. Have a nice flight.


2005 Toyota Tacoma Double-Cab 4x4
Ryan McIntosh
Stock frame fully boxed by DMZ, DMZ bumpers and bedcage
1GR-FE 4.0 V-6 with AEM Intake and JBA headers
stock automatic transmission and transfer case, stock front and rear differentials with 4.56 gears and rear Lock-Rite locker
Total Chaos long-travel 4x4 front, DMZ spring-under rear, Fox coilover and bypass shocks.
Front travel:
13 inches. Rear travel: 17 inches
Stock with Total Chaos tie rod extenders
Stock with Stoptech front brake rotors and pads
35-inch BFG All-Terrain/American Racing
Other Parts:
Lowrance 540c GPS, Tacoma audio package
Favorite Off-Road Area:
Mojave Desert, Pismo/Oceano Dunes, Big Bear, Baja


View Photo Gallery
Load More Read Full Article